Sarah Sherburne Langdon
John Singleton Copley ( American, 1738 - 1815 )
Mr. and Mrs. Woodbury Langdon commissioned Copley to paint their likenesses, knowing he would capture their youthful good looks. The portraits served as centerpieces of the Langdons' newly decorated and extravagant home. In these portraits, Copley conveyed the increasingly self-confident image of the colonists.
Sarah Sherbourne Langdon appears as a woman of charm and elegance, suggesting warmth, vulnerability, and a youthful naivete. Her uncorseted white satin gown and green robe complement her husband's attire. To 18th-century viewers, her bouquet of flowers symbolized the cultivation that was basic to her discipline, handiwork, and character. The romantic garden setting was invented by the artist to imitate the background found in fashionable English portraiture.
Gail Davitt, DMA Exhibition label text, 1997.
Learn more about John Singleton Copley and view his complete works.
Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
Read a biography of John Singleton Copley from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Revolutionary Art of John Singleton Copley
Watch this video from the Chicago Humanities Festival where Harvard professor Jane Kamensky discusses John Singleton Copley's life and works.